Press Release – Rugby Canada. / Photos – ISN

An exhilarating Day 2 of the HSBC Canada Women’s Sevens was headlined by wins over Fiji and the USA for Canada’s Senior Women’s Sevens team as they secured a 5th place finish at their home event in Langford, BC.

Having finished second in Pool A on Saturday, Jack Hanratty’s Canadians, presented by Velocity Trade, began Sunday with a clash against Pool C winners New Zealand. Portia Woodman scored two early tries before Sarah Hirini went over to give their side a 19-0 half time lead. After the break, further scores from Stacey Fluhler, Risi Pouri-Lane and Tenika Willison sealed a 38-0 win for New Zealand.

Next up for the Canadians was a clash with Fiji in the fifth-place semi-final. Keyara Wardley got the home side off to the perfect start after a well-worked interchange ended with her going over. Fiji responded via a Reapi Ulunisau try to tie things up at 7-7.

Canada, with a strong home crowd behind them, retook the lead thanks to the lightning pace of Krissy Scurfield, who outran the Fiji defence on the wing to touch down. That was before Ulunisau scored her second try to ensure it was 14-12 to Canada at the half.

Immediately after the restart, Fiji went in front thanks to a Sesenieli Donu score. Their lead didn’t last long as Florence Symonds battled her way over the line to level the match before Scurfield then put Canada ahead thanks to another fleet-footed try to make it 26-19. And that was how it ended as Hanratty’s side secured its place in the 5th place play-off.

There, Canada faced the USA who had beaten Spain in their semi-final. Canada got the scoring underway after they worked the ball up the field and Symonds finished off a neat move. Wardley doubled their advantage after her speed proved too much for the Americans to handle as she went over to ensure the half finished 12-0.

After the break, an incredible, last-ditch Olivia Apps tackle prevented the USA from getting on the board. However, the visitors stole the ball from the resulting lineout and Kristi Kirshe scored a try to reduce Canada’s lead. A tense last few minutes saw the passionate Canadian crowd get behind their team and cheer them to a memorable 12-7 victory.

Canada’s Senior Women’s Sevens team’s next stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is in Toulouse on May 20-22.